Jerusalem would have been a perfect setting for The Truman Show in my perspective. I’ve never met such an obvious religious, ethnic and historical diversity in one place. I found it profoundly beautiful but at the same time, my mind started to create scenarios in order to understand all the different people met there. This mechanism was connected with the fact that we came to Jerusalem after visiting West Bank and we didn’t know what to expect from the other side of the Wall.
My suspicions were verified after our first host in Couchsurfing that didn’t work. From their way to speak, to put questions and to look, I was pretty sure that they were soldiers. They told us that they work as tree climbers and one was a tour guide, but the conversations with them were more like interrogations. I reached the final point in analyzing them when they started to ask my opinion about Che Guevara, Stalin and Ceausescu, waiting for my answer with a sharp look. Then we decided to leave the room and to find other accommodation. If I would have had this experience in my country, I wouldn’t have been so paranoiac but in this situation, the secret agent’s scenario started in my mind. I was thinking that each tourist is tracked in the country but because we didn’t have a usual itinerary maybe they will try to follow us through our hosts. When we arrived at the Hostel, I was paying a lot of attention to the other people in the room, I spent half of the night thinking if they are ordinary tourists or secret agents or both of them.
The situation in our second host from Jerusalem was even weirder. The host had his flat on Couchsurfing and Airbnb so we weren’t the only guests. During three nights spent there, we met a woman from Brazil traveling with a German guy living in France, an American guy traveling with a Philippines woman living in the US too, a Pakistanis man from London and a Danish girl. All these people were travelers with different purposes and some of them quite having weird interests. I love different, weird people but after my first night there I told to my mates that all these people are playing a role, actually they are secret agents changing shifts trying to monitor our plans. It totally makes sense in my mind because we talked with so many people and we were suspicious too so we could have been investigated.
The host seemed the most normal of them, the Brazilian woman was very curious about our time in Palestine, concerned about how we dressed there, where we stayed and what we did, normal questions but we agreed before that we won’t say too many things about our travel, I was trying all the time to avoid her. The German-French guy was the nicest but he had the habit to take photos so still weird for me. He abstained himself very well when the host said to us that European media is sympathetic to Palestine because it’s controlled by Germany, or maybe he didn’t have a problem with this because he was really a spy.
The second day, we met the American guy and the woman Filipino-American, with her we didn’t interact so much but the man was a really spiritual, gifted person. In Jerusalem, he found out that the Holy Spirit sends messages to him and since then he is coming every year here to give blessings in the Old City to people chosen by divinity. He was really kind and respectful to us but please, explain to me, what are the chances to meet this kind of story in only three days.
In our last night there we met Adam, a guy from London with Pakistani origins, but our host told us that an Indian guy will come and we could find out more things about India for our program. Let’s be grateful that this person was open-minded and he didn’t let himself affected by this misunderstanding. He was a real pacifist person and he saw the positive thing in each situation even then when he was driving on the wrong band and the cars were coming in front of us. This was another lesson from Jerusalem, don’t accept a ride from strange people especially from those who are used to drive on the right side. I remember how calm he was saying to me that everything it’s ok and myself screaming at him “Nooooo, it’s not ok!”. At that moment I felt the spy presence the most accurate, I think he wanted to scare me because I wanted to visit a Palestinian village close to the Wall so I needed a ride to the bus station.
The crazy stories with secret agents stopped at the airport because our flight was the only one delayed for more than one hour. I was pretty sure that this is not a coincidence but it seemed so and we came back home and now I can laugh about all my paranoia.
Actually, I’m a little bit afraid that Mossad will try to recruit me because I recognized all their spies so they need my mind to build sophisticated scenarios like this. ?